Idea to get around oversized baggage with Japan Airlines

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Bargey83, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Bargey83

    Bargey83 First Runs

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    Ok. So going over to Japan in February as a group of 6. Looking at flights today from Brisbane to Sapporo with stopovers in Tokyo and Sydney. Flights are total $1,193! Bargain!!!

    After reading the forum I noticed alot of people are having dramas with JAL and their oversized baggage of more then 203cm in total rule. I measured my snowboard bag last night and it comes in at about 230cm. We were thinking of just using 1 snowboard bag and putting all snowboards in 1, then the other 5 just taking normal sized second bags with all their snowboard gear.

    Has anyone heard of JAL cracking down on multiple snowboards in one bag? I see some airlines only say 1 pair of boots per bag, and looking at JAL website it only seems to mention about surfboards
     
  2. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    $1200 for flights seems to be on the expensive side, especially when you're limited to 23kg of baggage and the baggage dimension rules.

    Most of the guys who do Japan on a regular basis here tend to wait later for their flights.
     
  3. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly One of Us

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    I take multiple boards with me, I had 4 in my bag this january. Never a word about contents, only total combined weight at the qantas checkin in sydney, they made me remove 4 tshirts to get the weight down all of which I simply put in the snowboard bag as I was walking it over to the oversize baggage drop after it was weighed. Theres a little loop hole I found for you [​IMG]
     
    #3 BobGnarly, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
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  4. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly One of Us

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    Serious? Its a great price
     
    #4 BobGnarly, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
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  5. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    The issue is going to be the return, the Japanese are notorious for being sticklers of the rules.
     
  6. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly One of Us

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    I have found the opposite, I actually came back with a fair bit more than I went with and I was maxed out in sydney, not a word in japan just big smiles
     
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  7. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty!
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    Bargey83,

    We have taken family of 6 with 6 snowboard bags on JAL flights multiple times in the past - never had a problem. We have always packed more than just snowboard and boots into the bags (often it is our only bag so everything is packed in there).

    We have also gone the 3 snowboard bags with 2 sets of gear each and 3 suitcases (half each) again with no problem.

    On one occasion we had a snowboard bag with 3 snowboards come back. Again no problem.

    EDIT: but we made sure they were under limit each bag, and under total limit for the family.
     
  8. Bargey83

    Bargey83 First Runs

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    Cool. Sounding like my idea might work. Saves on everyone paying that stupid $100 excess on each portion of the trip!

    I thought $1,200 return sounded pretty good compared to what I have seen. I think Qantas was the next cheapest which was about $1,400. Jetstar do dirt cheap but I am not travelling all that way without a meal or free alcohol! :)

    P.S. I've heard the Japanese are anal and even get the measuring tape out!
     
  9. malibu

    malibu Hard Yards

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    $1200 to Sapporo return is ok Bargey - you've locked that part in and it's out of the way - Happy Days in Japow are coming your way!!!
    - there is always going to be someone on this type of forum who gets 'the deal' which takes the gloss off. The old adage of stop shopping once you've made the purchase.
    Do be careful of the JAL check in in Tokyo on the return. They are sticklers (when they want to be)
     
  10. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty!
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    Have never had the measuring tape come out, and Papabears Japanese bought powder board is pretty long!

    We did have, early on, pre our Qantas Club days, a problem at Tokyo returning home. Got from Sapporo fine, but bags were not checked through for whatever reason and when checked in at Narita we were a little over weight - cost us a fortune. I learned my lesson and check bags weight before leaving now. Especially as when we got home I found heaps of junk that could have been binned and coins, so many coins!!! Kid are reminded to put all coins in a pile on a table when packing ( we spend them in the last few hours) and bin whatever they can.
     
  11. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    Jetstar meal will cost extra $50 each way and you accumulate QF points as well.... Can take alcohol on with you if you want.... is it worth the extra cost of the flight if you pay the extra just for the free booze?
     
  12. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    $1369 on Jetstar gets you free meals, free drinks, comfort pack, wide leather seats, 2x10kg carry on, 30kg checked baggage, entertainment and unlimited snack bar To Narita.

    $169 buys you wider more comfy seating, 13kg of more carry on and 7kg of more checked baggage, much better than an excess fee charge.
     
  13. skichanger

    skichanger A Local
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    The problem is JAL changed the rules in April so what has happened in the past may not be that relevant.

    Damien probably has the most recent experience and I think he was charged US$100 for his stuff.

    Someone else got an unhelpful email reply referring them to the website. The website said if you are over the 203cm total dimension you need to ring them anyway to ensure your stuff can go on your flight.

    Other airlines, not a problem it seems. J* just give lengths for domestic and international flights. Qantas say 1 set of skis or board per person so long as you don't excedd you bagage limit - I assume this means wrt weight.

    BTW $1200 is a pretty good price to Sapporo on a full service airline. So myou should be happy with that [​IMG]
     
    #13 skichanger, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  14. damian

    damian A Local

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    For the nth time, only last month did they suddenly start to charge for >203cm total dimension, or at least they charged me. And yes, I was even wearing a shirt. I was charged by them at Narita. The 203cm rule has been in place for over a year (they measured my board at NRT last year, but did not charge).

    The point being that perhaps they are no longer as lax. Or perhaps they are more prone to charge in the off-season, rather than penalising every snowboarding tourist that checks in? Lets hope for the best this coming winter.
     
    #14 damian, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  15. skichanger

    skichanger A Local
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    Ah snorkler you have got it! We took this option during a sale. By the time you add everything you want to the economy fare it is worth looking at the business class fare if it is on sale.

    And the $50 option on J* does not actually give you everything they say it does. Try changing the name on a ticket - they will charge you for this even though the ticket says you can change names.

    Also worth looking at what options you want and doing it seperately. On my next J* flight I am buying food and drinks at the airport past security and taking it on board with me. Then I get what I want to eat rather than a meal I may not like. Had not thought about the alcohol though. But Japan has zero tolerance so need to make sure you are not driving when you arrive.
     
  16. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    I had a shitty time with jerkstar at narita when leaving japan this year. my bag was over weight (splitboard, solid, boots, 2 bindings, avvy gear etc will do that) but wasnt an issue on the way over. then the jerk off that was behind the counter told me i had to stand my board bag up because thats how it should be weighed (bullshit) but he assured me it was standard jetstar practice (not happened to me any other time ive travlled with them and i only ever fly with my boardbags. I had weighed my bag on the checkin counter before it opened and it was under weight, after telling him this he then weighed it on another set of scales (calibrated recently i was told) and there was 7kg(!!!) difference between each set of scales. so his high horse was flamboyant_expletive. he still insisted on me paying over weight fees even though i told him none of his scales were accurate. i got away with 3000y for about 10kg over, so not bad all in all.

    On the flight on the way over 5 months prior however when leaving gold coast after my 3 hour lay over from auckland i was told that the flight was credit card only (dont have one) and no cash would be accepted (had NZD, AUD and JPY just incase). asked the stewardess why we werent informed of this at check in (we werent) she said we were (bullshit) and that it was all in the email we received at booking (again, bullshit). On the whole. jetstar are terrible.
    I've also flown with them twice and had a seat that just kept on reclining without me touching the button and been promptly told "what do you want me to do about?!?!".

    So after two flights to japan where i couldnt lean back in the chair and one where i was starved for 8 hours, i wouldnt really recommend giving those useless pricks anymore money and for 1200 return, JAL sounds great [​IMG]
     
    #16 Draizuh, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  17. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    Maybe for an extra $169 you wouldn't have had those issues [​IMG]

    If you want to prove their scales wrong, you could have gone and sourced 7L of water.
     
    #17 Snorkler, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  18. skichanger

    skichanger A Local
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    The weight issue is interesting. We had no problems at Narita but when we checked the same bags in at the Gold Coast they were suddnely 8kg heavier. We had weighed everything before going to the airport and were well under so this was a surprise. We had to take stuff out and put it in our carry on which was not weighed.
    Now if bags need to be checked in again I take note of what they weigh as it is always worth politely discussing any issues.
     
  19. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    How did you weigh at home? Putting a bag onto home scales usually is a really bad way to do it. The best way is to weigh yourself and then hold the bags and weigh yourself and the bag together.

    Home scales are often ineffective at low weights such as 23kg and if the bag doesn't sit on it properly, then the weight reading will come out wrong.

    The scales at Airports are governed by the Weights and Measure Act and if you're saying they are wrong, it's a serious accusation.
     
  20. damian

    damian A Local

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    For info, JAL had free toothbrush and paste in the toilets. And they served more food than I could eat in one meal (it was overkill!). And the beer was free. And the girls are mostly very pretty and so friendly. And there are heaps of movies. I actually choose to fly JAL if I can.
     
  21. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty!
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    I had missed that. [​IMG]
     
    #21 LMB, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  22. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us
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    Exactly the way to do it Snorkler. On the airport scales though I have seen this again and again with different scales giving different readings, the trouble is these days the airlines actually have a large financial gain to be made from you being over. When back in the day the scales were purely so the correct calculations for fuel and take off settings can be made without as much concern for charging for every gram you were over.
     
    #22 travelislife, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
  23. skichanger

    skichanger A Local
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    Yeah we bought a set of scales to use just for this - I have somewhere to leave stuff in Japan so easy to do.

    We had stuff from 3 different arrival and departure times with different mixes of people - there were only 4 of us but we managed this! We had to work around who left when and what gear they could take back etc. Weighed one of us alone and then holding gear. Scales were nominally accurate to 50gms up to 100kg. The mogul skier only weighs about 65kg so he was the pack horse for the exercise. Also because we could leave stuff behind we made sure we were always a few kilos under the allowed weight.

    The thing that makes you realise there is a problem is that the same bags weighed over 8kg more at the Gold Coast. Or perhaps I should have been worried about what had been put in them whilst in transit! Could validate certain conspiracy theories there!

    But it just means I will take note of the weight in future when we need to change flights and re-check our bags.

    On another thread someone discusses a difference in weight of several kilos for the same stuff when weighed on different check in scales on the same day. So it might be serious accusation but unless you make a formal complaint just here say.
     
  24. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    Airlines will deny responsibility and heap it on the Airport and say it's not their fault that the scales aren't maintained correctly and therefore not complicit in the defrauding of customers.
     
  25. Mrstr_Chief

    Mrstr_Chief One of Us

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    Digging this one up from the grave, any recent experiences..? Got a 200cm board bag (haven't measured its total dimensions), planning to fly home to Sydney from Vancouver via Tokyo in April. Weight should be OK, but concerned about the length rule, maybe I can just fold up the top of the bag so that it comes under? Will have 2 sets of everything (board, books, outerwear).
     
  26. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    @Mrstr_Chief

    Flew over to Japan on Friday on a JAL ticket out of Brisbane, although it was Cathay Pacific metal out of Brisbane and then JAL plane from Hong Kong to Tokyo. Double wheelie ski bag 180cm long, total dimensions added up to 230cm. Nobody said boo at check-in and Cathay have the same 203cm rule as JAL. I'll see what happens on the way home with JAL flight in two weeks.
     
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  27. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
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    Yesterday I realised that we may be in a world of pain luggage wise...

    PE over (40kg's each)
    Economy home (30kg's ea)
    These are QF flights.

    Totally separate JAL domestic ticket - 20kg's :-(


    On their website they claim it is only 400 yen per kilo that you get charged - so we will have 3 bags all at 20kg or less. so hopefully less than a $100 for the extra bag on the ea of the 2 internal flights. (which is cheaper than hiring ski!)

    However i never been pinged on Domestic JAL flights before. So fingers crossed its fine.
     
  28. sara777

    sara777 A Local
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    JAL allows 2 checked in luggages for international flights (on my eticket) so I will be good. Never had a problem with JAL before, they never measured anything in the past.
     
  29. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
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    Yeah i was happy when i first read the baggage limits then realised i was reading international limits :-(
     
  30. sara777

    sara777 A Local
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    Fingers crossed for your domestic transfers :(
     
  31. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
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    Ah its okay - YK and I discussed it. At worst it will cost us $100 ea way.

    Thats cheaper than rental ski's for both of us - which is what would have to happen if we reduced our bags to 20kg's the whole trip.
     
  32. kylep

    kylep One of Us
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    I'm hoping that the Qantas booking including the JAL internal flights means I won't have an issue with my all in one board bag. Nothing I'm going to do to change it so if it's a problem I'll just be nice (and maybe beg)
     
  33. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
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    In my research yesterday - it only counts if your flights (international & Domestic legs) are within 24hrs of each other. so if you have a stopover of more than 24hrs you are at risk.
     
  34. kylep

    kylep One of Us
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    Well that will just be the one flight HAN>CTS after a week there. Coming back is transit straight through to SYD with 2hr stopover.
     
  35. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Isn't it 2 x 23 kgs on Jal domestic?
     
  36. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
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    Exactly what happened to us on return from Tokyo - was very politely informed of the oversized luggage - remedies were found though
     
  37. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
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    Quote from website is

    https://www.jal.co.jp/en/dom/service/bags/checkin.html
     
  38. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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  39. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
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    Where do you figure that?

    The first bit is key - Up to 20kg per passenger...

    You could check 20 x 1kg bags if you want.
     
  40. jgm

    jgm Hard Yards

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    Get a portable digital luggage scale (under $15 on fleabay). I always carry one with me & use it to check my luggage weights before check-in. If I ever got a dodgy airport check-in agent who wanted to charge me for being overweight, I would pull it out immediately, & if necessary stand my ground.
     
  41. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    The daughter and I were flying out of Nice a few years ago. Emirates or Nice airport or someone, very kindly, put some scales near the check in queue. So we used them and shifted some stuff from carry on to checked because we were (inexplicably in the case of the daughter) well under. Then the scales at check in showed her as over. We weren't charged but what a (potential) bastard trick.
     
  42. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    I'm lost.
    How heavy is your bag?
    You can take 5 x 18kgs bags each person if you want.
    There is no limit to the number of bags that may be checked in.
     
  43. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
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    Yes there NO limit to how many bags you may check.

    However the total weigh of all bags must not exceed 20kgs
     
  44. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    No , its engrish.

    (surely)

    I've travelled with tonnes of baggage on Jal domestic and no one batted an eyelid.
     
  45. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
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    Well yeah thats what i am hoping too!

    I have never had an issue before. Its just this thread that made me worry/check limits.

    In the mean time between this post and my last i have been in and out of KVB getting Yen! *woot*
     
  46. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Waiting to board JAL flight in Tokyo after going through checkin. Can report they did get out the tape measure on my double wheelie ski bag and measure all three dimensions, but said nothing, no charge. Good on you JAL. :thumbs:
     
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  47. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty
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    I like when people get out the tape measure.
     
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  48. sara777

    sara777 A Local
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    Good to know! :thumbs: Sorry you missed the incoming snowfall on your holiday :(
     
  49. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    And I'll add what a pleasure going through Narita with JAL has been. No line up for checkin, no line up for security or immigration. Jetstar line up in the past has normally been 45 minutes. And these peak season JAL flights were even cheaper than Jetstar. :D
     
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  50. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Yeah something I am looking fwd to.